“Go in, the whole ship’s crew!” fervently urged a family man. “It will be the best fun of the season.”
“All right!” promptly agreed the ladies. “We are ready. Now, hurry up and get on your porter’s apron in time for the next wagon of trunks. Pray, call us when you are about to shoulder one!” which turned the laugh on the muscular member of the group.
“I think I’d rather be parlor maid,” sweetly chimed in a little blonde beauty, with fluffy bangs.
“Suits you to a T,” was the gallant response from the younger men.
“And I’ll have to stand guard to keep you from flirting,” put in an adorer.
“Pot calling the kettle black!” was the saucy fling from a chorus of school-girls who were enjoying their first seaside vacation.
“Now, grandma,” exclaimed the parlor maid to a beautiful old lady with silver hair, “you shall have a big chair right in the middle of the dining hall, and be manager-in-chief.”
Meanwhile the landlord had been overcome.
“Ladies,” he now managed to articulate, and certainly he meant it, “I don’t know what to say; I don’t know how to thank you. But I know what I’ll do; I’ll turn away the last one of those quarrelsome blacks; root and branch they shall go. I’m tired of living in bedlam. I shall go down at once and start them; then I’ll telegraph to New York and take the first train out. Rest assured I shall be back to your relief as soon as possible.”
The proprietor had made himself heard in the confusion, and as he left the parlor hearty cheers followed him, when immediately the groups of talkers broke out again into plans and promises.
“Organize! Organize!” thundered a big man who had been jostled from his morning paper. “There can be no success without system.”
“Hear! Hear!” roared the fun-loving fellows. “Down with the crowd to the lower regions! Come on with your constitution and by-laws! Hold fast to law and order! Give us liberty, or death—pumpkin pies and lily-white hands! Hurrah! On to the kitchen!”
With mock circumspection they were forcing couples to pair off; but the level-headed matrons soon arranged matters more to the purpose. The various branches of work were assigned to willing hands that only awaited the signal for action.
Great was the consternation of the mutineers when the “boss” appeared in the dismantled kitchen and ordered them all off the premises. In vain they protested, laying the blame on first one and then another. Their day of grace was ended and no quarter shown. Wilfully and from sheer love of bickering, they had offended all sense of justice and propriety, and in unbroken ranks they must go.
When the fiat had irretrievably gone forth, they showed again the claws and the cloven foot. The “cook-lady” said she “didn’t hafter work nohow;” she reckoned she could “git along.” The maids and the waiters took the cue and were equally independent. But though paid their wages in full, they were discharged without “a recommend”; and this, in the height of the season, was no small privation.